Home inspection in Woodinville, Wa - Handrail

Home inspection in Woodinville, Wa - Handrail

With our hilly terrain it is very common to need steps to get to the entrance of a house.  If you have these types of landscaping steps in your yard, you need to ensure there is a handrail.  Since there is not distance to fall on the side of the stairs you do not need to have ballasters as well, just a graspable handrail.

A 2x4 is not a graspable hand rail and will always be called out during home inspections.  It is common for an inspector to see a 2x4 used as a handrail, especailly on deck stairs.  The rail needs to be round and graspable, if you are falling you need to be able to hold on to it succesfully.  The inspector will litterally push and pull to ensure the handrail is sturdy and is graspable.

If there was a distance to fall greater than 36" then you would also need to have ballasters below the handrail spaced so that a 4" ball could not pass through.  Proper installation on ballasters is important as it keeps a childs head from getting caught in the ballasters if he was falling down the stairs.

At this time RRIO Inspectors only have to inspect the handrail needs that are attached to the structure.  Soon the RRIO inspection will also include all the stairs on SITE not just attached to the structure.  So like in the picture above if this was your rental property you would be required to install a handrail to pass inspection.  During a sale it should not hold up the transaction, but should be incorprated with the other findings to negotiate a fair price that will cover all the associated costs, this is the job of your agent.  They will use our house inspection and determine the extent of all the repairs and then will suggest a negotiation for you.